Alumni Applause

Mr. Korey Johnson

August 13th, 2018 by alumnirelations


 Mr. Korey Johnson, a 2013 graduate of Jackson State University and a second year MD student at the University of Louisville in Kentucky is a native of Eudora, Arkansas.  Mr. Johnson imagined a life where potential was predetermined from birth. Mr.Johnson expressed, "Growing up as an African American male in Arkansas, a former staple of the Confederacy; comes with a limited worldview."  He had not realized until recently, that he had never met or seen a black physician until his sophomore year of college. Although he did not have that specific example in his youth, he can now be that model for other young black children.

 His mother, a teacher and his father, a butcher respectively were always encouraging him to expect and desire more for himself. He was always an excellent student and never lacked confidence. Mr. Johnson subconscious thoughts of ever pursuing a career in medicine were swept away before it ever began. In his mind, black people did not become doctors. His concern about being an African-American male in medicine can be summed up in one word, perception. Perception is 99% of reality. How others view you can determine your trajectory in various ways; however the medical field has made great strides to improve diversity and inclusion.

Eventually, Mr. Johnson gained exposure to the medical field through volunteering and participation in the SMDEP program at Louisville University where he earned the opportunity to receive his medical education. Mr. Johnson ventures to look toward the future and the possibilities that are in front of him.  It is his hope to move the needle just a little bit further for the next generation.

Posted in Alumni Applause

JSU Summer Interns

August 2nd, 2018 by alumnirelations

Damian Murray

Damian is a junior finance major from Columbus, OH.  He is currently a corporate treasury intern at J.P. Morgan Chase in New York.  His team manages capital, interest rate risk and liquidity firm-wide for all operating segments at J.P. Morgan. This summer Damian has been tasked with analyzing marginal expenses for all lines of business.  He provides monthly variance commentary to various internal partners and he has presented valuable case study research to drive the allocation of costs in multiple lines of business. Damian hopes that this experience will lead to a fulltime offer with J.P. Morgan Chase in the future.



Gabrielle Lyles

Gabrielle is a junior entrepreneurship major from East St. Louis, IL.  She is currently a corporate audit intern at Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska.  During the summer, Gabrielle has been actively working alongside several internal auditors and managers within the company.  She has been heavily involved with traveling throughout the region to conduct field work, making recommendations regarding vender processes, and examining third party contractors.  This experience has advanced her technical skills in excel and has enhanced her critical thinking and overall knowledge.



Josh Goodwin

Josh is a senior business administration major from Chicago, IL.  He is currently interning with Wells Fargo in the Wealth and Investment Management group in Denver, Colorado.  His daily duties include researching stocks and other investment ideas for high affluent clients in the metro Denver area.  Josh also works alongside seasoned financial advisors in order to develop pitch books for prospective clients and to respond to any general inquiries that may arise during the day. Josh hopes that this experience will continue to open more doors for him in the financial services industry.

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Dr. Shakira Cain-Bell

July 26th, 2018 by alumnirelations

Dr. Shakira Cain-Bell, is a 1992 Bachelor of Science, 1995 Masters of Public Policy and Administration, 2002 Doctor of Education, and a 2012 Masters of Arts in Sociology graduated of Jackson State University, she is a native of Canton, Mississippi with more than 16 years of experience as a motivational speaker, educator, conference organizer, advisor, compliance officer, community organizer, head start reviewer, college SACS team member, 6th grade teacher, assistant principal, early childhood program developer, early childhood childcare center designer, and an early childhood consultant. 

Hinds Community College (HCC) presently employs Dr. Shakira Cain-Bell as the academic dean and adjunct professor of Sociology at the Jackson Campus Academic Technical Center. She is a certified online learning professor through Jackson State University and the Institution of Higher Learning (IHL).  She is the former director of the Minority Male Leadership Initiative (M2M). Mrs. Cain-Bell was the first assistant professor hired in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at Jackson State University. She is a former Danya certified compliance officer in the fields of early childhood, health, disability services, nutrition, and mental health.  Mrs. Cain-Bell was also the disability, mental wellness, and services coordinator for the Mississippi Action for Progress; during her tenure as coordinator; the Center was never cited for being out of compliance with federal regulations.

Dr. Shakira Cain-Bell also has a Masters in Higher Education from Mississippi College. She was the first and second cohort of GIFTS Scholars selected at Jackson State University; while co-authoring the book Foundations in Global Inquiry Institutional Guide – Jackson State University, which was collected and edited by Dr. Robert Blaine as part of the Apple iPad Initiative at Jackson State University. Dr. Cain-Bell designed the first child watch program for pupils who were in need of adequate childcare watch; while attending classes in the Research and Development Center at Jackson State University.

Dr. Shakira Cain-Bell is married to Pastor Charles E. Bell Jr. and they have three children, Zerrian, Zachariah, and Shakira. Her parents, Mr. Percy Lee Cain and Mrs. Bernice Purnell Cain and sister, Dr. Lisa Cain-Smith of Canton, MS; are graduates of Jackson State University.


Posted in Alumni Applause

Corbin Norman

July 19th, 2018 by alumnirelations

Corbin Norman, a native of Jackson, MS, is a Computer Science and Music graduate of Jackson State University and a graduate of The University of Virginia Darden School of Business with an ME in System Engineering.  Mr. Norman is an entrepreneur and innovator who resides in Washington, DC. Mr. Norman enjoys disrupting industries and leading diverse teams from inspiration to sustainable change. He is an inquisitive learner, solver of complex problems, and a developer of compelling concepts that ultimately leads to a valuable creation.  Mr. Norman has worked in innovation, product development, and human-centered design within multiple contexts. His research interest includes; understanding how digital innovation can link everyday consumers with low-profile-but- talented designers to custom-design clothing that fits the personality and individuality of the consumer.

Mr. Norman also coach incubators, venture teams and aspiring entrepreneurs on agile, lean startup, human-centered design, while having an entrepreneurial mindset.  He recently has been selected to join an incubator focused on social entrepreneurship and as an accelerator for new media ventures.Mr. Norman has been a composing and performing musician for over 12 years. 

Mr. Norman worked as a management consultant and advisor for a Swedish finish startup. His Leadership roles consist of Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Darden Black Executive MBA Association (BEMBA). He has partnered with Black Business Student Association and Darden Student Association in engaging Deans on issues of diversity and inclusion following the white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.  He also was the Virginia Fellowship Program Director of Organizing for Action; where he implemented strategic issue campaigns around Affordable Care Act (ACA), Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Gun Violence Prevention and Climate Change; which aided passage of Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744) in U.S. Senate on June 27, 2013. Mr. Norman has made approximately 2,300 phone calls, attended and hosted over 30 events, conducted 20 one-on-one's with community leaders, and organized two grassroots fundraisers grossing over $1,000.  Mr. Norman is also the Darden Executive Entrepreneurship Club-Co-Founder and Advisor. 

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Claude Wilson II

July 13th, 2018 by alumnirelations


Claude Wilson II, a 2005 Business Administration graduate of Jackson State University, is a native of Jackson, MS with an extensive background in the fields of administration and education. Mr. Wilson has been in the field of education for 10 years; 8 of those years as a classroom teacher. He has taught at Newberry Elementary, Magnolia Elementary, and Jackson Public Schools. His philosophy of education is to provide instructional leadership, as well as an optimal learning environment that is conducive to teaching and learning that ensures academic student growth.  Mr. Wilson is now the new Principal of Hawkins Mill Elementary with the Shelby County School District in Memphis, TN.

His three main priorities in his new position are to build positive relationships with the school’s stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, staff, and community supporters; identify the school’s strengths, as well as its opportunities for growth, in an effort to facilitate a climate of continuous improvement; and establish system and routines that will foster a culture of high academic achievement and decrease suspension and chronic absenteeism rate. 

Mr. Wilson also was the presentation speaker for Data Driving Instruction w/AMOs, New Leaders Sessions, and Mississippi Science Teachers Association Conference. Mr. Wilson is a graduate of Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi where he attained a Masters of Arts in Teaching. He also attended the New Leaders Aspiring Principal Program. Mr. Wilson attended "Thee I Love" Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. He also participated in the JSU "Sonic Boom of the South" Marching Band during his undergraduate years and is an active member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

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Ayanna C. Fultz

May 30th, 2018 by giving

Ayanna Chanel Fultz, a fall 2012 Healthcare Administration graduate of Jackson State University, is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, with an extensive background in the fields of healthcare, business, management, and logistics. Formerly of Logisticare Solutions LLC, where she was employed as the Director of Operations for the state of Louisiana, she is now the Proprietress and Executive Director of Southern Magnolia Service Corporation, a powerful new holding company housing several subsidiary service organizations such as Pristine Janitorial Service, a highly efficient commercial janitorial service agency, Pelican State Transit, a Louisiana owned and operated transportation brokerage offering Medicaid transportation management services to managed care organizations and state health departments, and Louisa's Place, a resident-centered, holistic assisted living facility for the elderly. Yet, she is highly acclaimed for her work in the Greater New Orleans community and her partnership with non-profits such as Pink House, Inc., the New Orleans Women’s Shelter, and the American Cancer Society to host days of youth empowerment, educational seminars, and fundraising events. She is also the Founder and Visionary of the all-female, professional, service based non-profit organization, the Paragon Society, founded in December of 2015 to reinstate class, refinement, and a dedicated and selfless service to the community through education, empowerment, and networking partnerships. Ayanna also holds great significance in New Orleans Carnival history as the very first African American Carnival Queen to reign in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Staying true to her service driven nature, during her reign, her royal platform entitled "More Than a Crown" included a "Brunch with the Queen" Etiquette and Class Seminar, a day of youth empowerment, and multiple youth and women's empowerment speaking engagements.

​Ms. Fultz is a graduate of St. Leo University in Tampa, Florida, where she attained a Master’s in Business Administration with concentration in Health Management. She attended "Thee I Love" Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration, Summa Cum Laude. Before her tenure at JSU, she attained an Associate’s degree in General Studies from Delgado Community College in her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana, where she earned the honor of Phi Theta Kappa graduate. Ms. Fultz also achieved the honor of Valedictorian at her high school graduation from St. Mary’s Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana.

​She maintains membership in several social, civic, and religious organizations such as the Urban League of Greater New Orleans Young Professionals, the National Black MBA Association, the Jackson State University National Alumni Association, the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Alumni Association. In her spare time, she enjoys orchestrating community service events and initiatives, traveling, and trips to the spa.

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Dowell Taylor – Bio

May 10th, 2018 by giving

Mr. Dowell Taylor, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, is a graduate of Callaway High School. He also attended Jackson State University receiving the B.M.E. and M.M.E. degrees, respectively. Mr. Taylor participated in the JSU “Sonic Boom of the South” Marching Band Tuba Section, and during his undergraduate years he arranged more than 100 band selections including the current JSU theme song, “Get Ready”, originally arranged by John Paul Jones.  In 1975 he received the highest award a JSU bandsman could receive, the “Best All Around Bandsman” award. Mr. Taylor did further study (90 quarter hours) while enrolled in the Doctor of Musical Arts program in Wind Conducting at the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, Ohio.


After graduating from JSU, Mr. Taylor served as Director of Bands at Mary Holmes, Jr. College, West Point Mississippi, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky (where he also served as Department Chair), and from 1984-1992, as Director of Bands and Director of Music Technology at Jackson State University conducting both the Symphonic and Marching Bands. During this period, the famous JSU “Sonic Boom of the South” Marching Band received numerous awards and citations including national coverage in Jet Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, and People Magazine. The Band was also featured as “Special Guest Band of Honor” at the St Petersburg, Florida Martin Luther King Battle of Bands, the 1991 NBA All-star basketball game, Charlotte, North Carolina and Motown’s 30th Anniversary Celebration in Hollywood, California, 1990. One of Mr. Taylor's most notable performances with the JSU Symphonic Band was in 1987, featuring Dr. Karen Laubengayer, pianist and Professor of Music at JSU, performing George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" adapted for band by Mr. Taylor.

Mr. Taylor received the JSU outstanding Alumnus award in 1992. In 1998, 2000, and 2003, the Jackson Music Awards, incorporated, named him the “Local Musician of the Year”. In 2016, Mr. Taylor’s Jazz group, The Dowell Taylor Jazz Quartet, received the Jazz Group of the Year Award from the Jackson Music Awards, Incorporated. In 2008, The Dowell Taylor “Big Band”, a 40 piece jazz ensemble, performed for the annual Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children's New Year’s Eve Fundraiser Gala at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi. On December 10, 2010, the Mississippi Jazz Foundation honored Mr. Taylor for his contributions to the field of music education and the Jazz music genre. In 2015, the Mississippi Humanities Council honored Mr. Taylor with a Humanities Teacher Award as a distinguished professor at Jackson State University.

On April 1, 2012, after a twenty-year hiatus from the band field, Mr. Taylor accepted the appointment to the position of Interim Director of Bands, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Music Technology at Jackson State University. In December 2012 the position was made permanent. During this second stint as Director of Bands, the “Sonic Boom” was featured in numerous media outlets including a two-page coverage of the band’s pre-season camp in ESPN the Magazine, a CNN special on the Morning Show Featuring Robin Meade, twice at the Honda Battle of the Bands Showcase of eight of the top bands in the nation, The American Journey, a CNN production chronicling the journey of what it takes to become a member of the famed “J5” Drum Majors, and performed for the New Orleans Saints nationally televised football game. Mr. Taylor has served as adjudicator and clinician throughout the United States, as well as guest conductor for the HBCU National Consortium for Band Director’s Conference, Atlanta Georgia, the Miami, Florida Music Festival, the MEAC Music Conference in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the Atlanta, Georgia Music Festival, the Memphis Tennessee Honors Band and the Jackson Public Schools All-City High School Music Festival.

Mr. Taylor has received certification in Music Technology from the Technology Institute for Music Educators (TIME) in Pasadena, California, served as a grant evaluator for the Department of Education, Washington D.C., Music Director for the Mississippi Diversity and Majesty Awards Ceremony, Computer Literacy Instructor for a federally funded “Prevention Intervention” After-School Program, a Web Designer, and Minister of Music/Organist at the Greater Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Jackson, Mississippi. Mr. Taylor has been featured as guest conductor with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presenting Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise” and regularly performs on keyboard with his Jazz Trio and Quartet. He has also performed at the National Black Caucus Reception in Washington, D.C., and his Gospel Choir has performed for the Governor Ray Mabus' Inauguration Ceremony, Jackson, Mississippi. In 2009, he developed an undergraduate degree program in Music Technology at Jackson State, which received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Mr. Taylor is a Licensed Real Estate Broker who holds membership in TI:ME, CMEA, MENC, CBDNA, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. He is also a recording engineer and certified Pro Tools Operator. He recently engineered four selections on the Jackson State Jazz Band’s 2010 recording project, and "Images of Isabella's Dream" a composition commissioned by Belhaven University of Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson State Professor, Dr. Ivan Elezovic, composed “Images of Isabella’s Dream”. Both projects were recorded in Jackson State’s recording studio.

Mr. Taylor has presented at national conferences including the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), Orlando, Florida, “Turning Teachers On To Technology for the Twenty-First Century” and the National Black Music Caucus, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, “Black College Bands, Where Do We Go From Here?”  On January 8, 2012, he presented the topic, "Issues Involving the Integration of Technology into the Music Curriculum" at the International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.  In April of 2015, Mr. Taylor served on a “Hazing in HBCU Marching Bands” discussion panel at the HBCU National Band Director’s Consortium in Atlanta, Georgia.

On June 30, 2015, Mr. Dowell Taylor retired from Jackson State University after 31 years of service. Post retirement, Mr. Taylor has been honored by the nationally acclaimed Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta, Georgia, the Jackson, Mississippi City Council, the Sonic Boom National Alumni Association, and Mr. Andre Delano, a national recording artist who has performed with, Baby Face, Lionel Richie, Maxwell, Johnny Taylor, Dorothy Moore, and Stevie Wonder. On April 15, 2016, Mr. Taylor was honored by the HBCU National Band Director’s Consortium, for his many years of service to Jackson State and the “Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band.” The National Conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia on April 13-16, 2016.

On September 18, 2017, Mr. Taylor, out of a profound, deep and abiding love for his alma mater, accepted the appointment of the position of Interim Director of Bands, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Music Technology at Jackson State University. He is anxious to assist with preparing the Jackson State University “Sonic Boom of the South” for its next generation of spectacular leadership.

Mr. Taylor is married to Dr. Vivian Taylor, and they have one son, David, a Patent and Trademark attorney with the Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.


Posted in Alumni Applause

Congratulations to Dowell Taylor who has been selected by the Board of Directors of the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. Taylor will be inducted in its 2018 Class during the 33rd Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday, September 28, 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

Taylor is the Interim Director of Bands, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Music Technology at Jackson State University and is being honored for his exceptional achievements in the field of Arts & Entertainment. [read bio]. He joins a distinguished list of over 300 Hall of Famers who have been enshrined into the Hall of Fame since 1986, including such notables as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Walter Payton, Leontyne Price, Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall, Oprah Winfrey, Ambassador Andrew Young, Will Packard and Nancy Wilson.

The Department of Alumni and Constituency Relations coordinated the submission of applications to the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation and cordially congratulates Dowell Taylor for the esteemed honor.

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Patrina Robinson Dace

April 23rd, 2018 by giving

Patrina Robinson Dace is a native of Georgetown, Mississippi.  She is the seventh of eight children (four girls and four boys) born to L.J. and Lula Lewis Robinson.  She attended Brushy Creek Headstart, Crystal Springs Elementary, Crystal Springs Junior High, and Crystal Springs High School.  She graduated from Crystal Springs High School in May of 1984 with honors. Patrina participated in numerous activities and received numerous accolades while in high school which included:  Student Council Reporter, Vice-President of Student Council, Beta Club Member, Year book Staff and Editor, Junior Homecoming Maid, Captain of the Cheerleading Team, Honor Student, and Most Beautiful.

Patrina received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Jackson State University in 1991 with Magna Cum Lade.  She completed a Master of Science in Teaching from Jackson State University in 1994 in General Science Education.  In 2008, Patrina received her CDA from the Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program with endorsements in Infants and Toddlers and Preschool Education.

Patrina is married to Dr. Glen W. Dace II of Meridian, Mississippi. They are the proud parents of three daughters, Racolesha, Ramanda, Glendolyn, a son-in-law, Frederick, and two grandchildren, Kennedy and Kyler.  The Dace family reside in Terry, Mississippi and attend New Horizon International Church in Jackson, Mississippi. Patrina has served her church family for seventeen years and has been  a deaconess for fifteen years.  Patrina’s faith in Christ and desire to know Him has created a passion for serving others. Patrina is active in the community and is a member of: NCHI Jackson State Alumni Association, Jackson Chambers of Commerce, Minority Business Owner, Byram Chambers of Commerce, Mississippi Early Childhood Association and Southern Early Childhood and the Childcare Directors Association.

In August of 2003, Glen and Patrina opened Kaleidoscope of Learning Preschool and After School in Byram, Mississippi with a license capacity of 49.  Four years later, Glen and Patrina decided to build a new facility to accommodate ­the increasing demand for childcare in the Byram area.  The vision was clear, but much work was still to be done. Glen and Patrina worked full time professional jobs with a desire to open a new center.  In June 2007, Glen and Patrina’s hard work and diligence paid off, and a brand new facility was built with a license capacity of 150.  This business adventure was a major milestone for Glen and Patrina.   Our most significant accomplishment we have accomplished is being able to expand the business for a second time.  We are currently building a gymnasium to expand our after-school program.

Prior to becoming a fulltime employee at Kaleidoscope of Learning in April of 2008, Patrina served as Director of Environmental Microbiology for the Mississippi State Department of Public Health Laboratory.  She worked as a Laboratory Technologist for 11 years and a Division Director for 4 years. Patrina certifications included: Laboratory Evaluation Officer by FDA and Laboratory Certification Officer by EPA.  Patrina worked fifteen years for the Mississippi Department of Health and eight years in the Jackson Public School System. On December 31, 2013, after serving 25 years in Public Employee Retirement System of the State of Mississippi, she retired at the age of forty-six.  Patrina is currently a full time owner, operator, and director at Kaleidoscope of Learning Preschool and After School.  Patrina provides many years of business development and management experience to The Kaleidoscope of Learning Family.   Patrina is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations, account management, hiring, budgeting, payroll, inventory, classroom management, and administrative duties.

Patrina has received several honor and awards: Congressional Record Award (July 2015), SBA Success Story Recipient (January 2017), and MBJ 2017 Leading Business in Mississippi.

Patrina’s is an advocate for childcare in Mississippi.  Patrina feels that every community should have affordable full-time childcare service for any social or ethnic group.  Patrina’s strong investment in Kaleidoscope initially began because she had to transport her own children from the suburbs to the city every day. Patrina one day decided that instead of making the families in her community drive for quality care, she would be the one to step up and provide it. It made good business sense as it also opened up many doors to be able to minister to families, by providing a loving, caring, and Christian environment to children, while their parents are away at work.   Since opening in 2003, many of our students have shown to perform at the top of their class. The first preschool children to start at Kaleidoscope are in high school now and are expected to graduate high school in 2019.

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Kenneth Wayne Jones

March 12th, 2018 by giving

Kenneth Wayne Jones received his early education at Holy Child Jesus School and later graduated from Canton High School.  He then enrolled in Jackson State University, he received his BS & MS Degrees in Industrial Technology (Management), additionally, and he joined the United States Army Reserves as a Medical Specialist and retired as a Sergeant First Class after 24 years of service to his country. As a soldier he received numerous meritorious awards.  Kenny Wayne also received a certification in the prestigious Business Advantage Program from Millsaps College’s Else School of Management. 

Kenneth Wayne Jones was elected as an Alderman in the City of Canton where he served for 12 years, he was also elected as a MS State Senator and served for 8 years. As a Senator he was elected twice by his peers to serve as the Chairman of the MS Legislative Black Caucus. Kenny Wayne was featured in Ebony Magazine as a, “Leader of the Future,” and he has received the “Governor’s Award” for Community Service.  He is a member of the Masonic Order, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and countless other organizations. Recently Kenneth Wayne made history in his hometown of Canton, MS by becoming the first African American CEO of Canton Municipal Utilities. 

Kenneth Wayne “Kenny Wayne” Jones is a lifetime resident of Canton, MS. He is a member of Greater St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church where he serves as a Deacon. Kenny Wayne is married to the former Bobby Jenkins and they have two children, Kennedy, who is currently an Honor Society student at Jackson State University and William, a Freshman IB student at Jim Hill High School. Presently Kenny Wayne serves as the Business Development Coordinator for MS Quality Concepts, LLC.

Posted in Alumni Applause